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RELEASE BY THE VICE-CHANCELLOR CHRISLAND UNIVERSITY ABEOKUTA ON 31 March 2020

March 31, 2020 | Author | 0 Comments

RELEASE BY THE VICE-CHANCELLOR CHRISLAND
UNIVERSITY ABEOKUTA ON 31 March 2020

I hereby send warm
greetings and regards to you all. I want to believe that you are keeping well
and safe in times like this. We pray that the Almighty God will protect and
preserve us all and our loved ones.

You will agree with me
that all of a sudden our world has changed due to the Corona virus pandemic
that has hit us hard. This invisible virus has brought visible and dramatic
changes in life style, conduct, families, social relationships, education,
career, job, health, economy and almost everything. Even the free air we
breathe has been affected by the virus. I welcome you to a changed world. Think
of social distancing, no handshakes for a people who love to hug and socialize.
Think of no meetings, markets, schools, religious gathering, clubs, banks etc.
I have never in my entire life seen Churches and Mosques shut down and empty as
is happening now. That is our new world.

You will recall that
our session/year was termed the session/year of New Beginning. I did mention that we will change the ways of doing
things in Chrisland University including the fact that technology will speak
for us this session. Without knowing it, COVID-19 has practically brought our education
to the E-learning mode from Nursery to University levels. If you ask around,
there is hardly any pupil or student that is not learning online at the moment
world over and in Nigeria. The outliers may be those still planning and those
in public universities where ASUU is on strike.

The university was to
resume lectures on Monday 23 March but has closed indefinitely due to the
pandemic. Therefore the NUC, Federal government and many state governments have
advised schools to deploy online methods for their teaching and learning.
People have been advised to work from home. In response to the change, the
University management met and adopted online methods for our second semester.
We conducted two-day mini workshops for academic staff on models to use for our
online learning and result processing on 24 and 25 March led by both in-house
ICT and external experts. We did this in anticipation of a lockdown which, has
finally landed on us. Just two days ago, President Muhammadu Buhari announced a
lock down for Lagos state, Ogun State and FCT, thus making it impossible for
the staff to be at work physically.

Justification

Universities need a
minimum of 15 weeks per semester comprising of 12 weeks of lectures, one week
of revision and 2 weeks of examinations. If we had resumed lectures on 23 March,
we would have been able to complete the session in June which would have given
us enough time (12 weeks minimum) for Students Industrial Work Experience
(SIWES)/ Industrial Training, summer semester and summer holidays. We need to
catch up for lost time such that when normalcy returns, we will not need to
spend 15 weeks for this second semester

Private universities
are known to maintain a regular calendar and therefore complete their academic
activities at expected time periods. Delays will extend the programmes and
erode both students and parents this advantage. It will also lead to more
financial losses on the path of everyone concerned.

Online learning which
is part and parcel of the regular face-to-face learning helps to keep the
gainfully students busy. Youths are easily distracted by other online
activities on their telephones and other devices on matters that are sometimes detrimental
to their academic growth and progress. It is good to occupy them gainfully
during this period of ‘Stay at home’. I am aware of a secondary school engaged
her students immediately schools were shut down. They run lectures from 9 am
till 2pm daily and parents also monitor what they do online.

We need to move with
the times. Online learning has become a game-changer in education globally and
Chrisland University, whose vision is to be a world class university cannot be
left behind.

Finally, being a
private university, we need to be business minded in order to justify financial
expenses by the proprietors of the university.

Highlights of activities

1.      
Departments
and colleges are to conclude First semester results by Tuesday 31 March 2020

2.      
University
Senate is to approve First semester results by 7th April  2020

3.      
Timetable
for Second Semester lectures is to be released by the Time-Table Committee by
Friday 27th March 2020

4.      
Second
semester lectures are to begin latest Wednesday 1st April 2020

5.      
Each
Department is to collate a list of her students according to levels including
details of Whatsapp telephone numbers, email addresses (preferably a gmail
address linked to the student), and any other relevant information

6.      
Departments
are to provide information on the available courses for the semester as well as
the time-table

7.      
Departments
are to provide Lecture distribution list that includes lecturers’ names,
telephone numbers, email addresses and other relevant information

8.      
Each
departments and each lecturer are to form Whatsapp groups and email groups for
their courses for easy interaction and group charts

9.      
Departments
and lecturers are to inform students and management the modes of lecture
delivery and student engagement. We have considered Google classroom, zoom and
whatsapp for now. Whatsapp alone is not enough. We want some audio-visual
interaction.

10.  
Attendance
is to be taken by all lecturers as well as conduct of course assessment (CA).

11.  
All
adjunct lecturers and technologists should be fully carried along by HODs

12.  
Final year
students should continue their projects by engaging with supervisors

13.  
E-labs
modules can be adopted by science lectures till normalcy returns for make-ups

14.  
The
Director of JUPEB, Dr. Alabi has been requested to adopt online platform for
the JUPEB students and their teachers. The CA results for JUPEB are out. Some
performed well, some woefully, while some did not take the tests. Appropriate
sanctions will be taken.

15.  
The
University ICT led by Dr. Zach Omogbadegun will provide support for
departments, staff and students as time goes on. University will provide funds
to the ICT to moderate all online activities going on.

16.  
ICT should
provide a platform whereby parents who are interested can monitor the
participation of their children and wards

17.  
Parents
are enjoined to support the university at this time by monitoring the online
activities, encouraging the students, providing resources needed such as data,
PCs and phones. Possession of a laptop is mandatory in Chrisland University
although we have not enforced it. We have by plans by ICT to enforce it as part
of ICT policy.

18.  
Useful
feedback of the online exercise from all parties – students, lectures and
parents is welcome. We are open to useful suggestions that will make us improve.

19.  
Feel free
to contact me or any management staff when you have questions.

20.  
To the glory of God, NUC has finally approved
all our 11 new programmes including the four that were pending – Physiotherapy,
Medical Lab science, Physiology and Anatomy against the current session
2019/2020
. We are still admitting
students this second semester. They will take first semester during summer
period. Kindly contact Mr. Tolulope Makinde on 07068476270. Please spread the
news.

Other actions taken with respect to the
pandemic

1.      
The
Department of Microbiology led by the HOD and supported by the management has
constructed customized hand washing devices placed at strategic places in the
university

2.      
The
university has approved funds and plans to make its own sanitizers before the
lockdown. However some hand sanitizers have been purchased in the interim.

3.      
Staff have
been asked to stay at home with effect from Monday 30 March 2020 but work has
been ongoing via online platforms.

4.      
Security
personnel will continue to work. They have been provided with some protective
items such as nose masks, hand gloves, hand-washing devices and hand
sanitizers.

5.      
Staff
meetings that were held in the past week observed social distancing and use of
sanitizers as expected

Conclusion

As we continue to find ways to manage the change we are experiencing, I
humbly request that all stakeholders will support university management in
achieving its goals this session. We enjoin you to cooperate and follow the
highlights listed.

I admonish us to observe the COVID-19 guidelines and STAY SAFE:

·        
Stay at
home

·        
No
handshake

·        
Wash your
hands regularly with soap and water and use alcohol-based sanitizers and sprays

·        
Practice
Social distancing

·        
wear mask
whenever you are stepping out of the house

·        
Call the
official numbers for COVID-19 test if you feel vulnerable such as being in
contact with a positive individual or if you experience the symptoms of the
virus.

·        
Observe
self-isolation if vulnerable.

·        
Keep your
mind free from fearful messages, myths and fake news. Occupy yourself gainfully
– reading, writing, and learning new skills and information, gardening, caring
and loving people among others. All things work together for our good,
therefore turn this situation into an opportunity to move your life forward.

·        
Know that
COVID-19 is not a death sentence. Less than 1-2% die from it. But adopt safe
practices

Above all let us continue to PRAY to God to show us mercy, intervene and
stop this plague.

Once again, your health, well-being and future matter a lot to me. I
have you in prayers daily and I love you all.

Yours,

Chinedum Peace
Babalola

Vice-Chancellor

vc@chrislanduniversity.edu.ng, 08133004582

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